As I reflect back to my High School days, I remember how school was very important to me because I knew that it was a safe place that offered me the chance to learn and to develop friendships. I was very involved in school activities such as: member of the Future Farmers of America, Hawaiian Club, Class Officer and member of the Hawaii School Choir where I served as Vice President. I was also very active in sports where I was captain of the Football and Basketball teams. My most impactful school accomplishment was being elected Student Body President in 1979. This was a great time for me where we campaigned with classmates and underclassmen for various school projects and programs. The prime accomplishment during that time was the installation of a pay phone on campus.
As for my studies, there were many teachers who inspired me and gave me the support to study hard, such as Mrs. Josephine Sokei who was always there, working with me on term papers and writing assignments. I wanted to learn and she was there for me. Same for Mrs. Nancy Texeira who would always give me the support I needed on math projects. Mr. Richard Kubota was very willing to work with us on agricultural projects and of course Mr. LeRoy Bessert was very supportive in working on World History assignments. Mrs. Thronas stirred my music talent with song, along with the playing of guitar and ukulele. My football coaches Mr. Glenn Hayashi and Mr. Wayne Watanabe and basketball coaches Mr. Jerry Joslin inspired me to work hard on and off the field / court through dedication and hard work.
And finally, Principal Mrs. Martha Morita encouraged me to participate in student government and school leadership roles. She was the person that drilled into me the message that I could be anything that I wanted to be, it just took commitment, hard work and good heart. She instilled in me the self esteem I needed to be successful in those roles.
My public school experience from attending kindergarten at Kapa`a Elementary School through middle and high school, was a vital part of who I am today. I was surrounded by so many friends that supported me and who still remain friends today. My teachers and coaches who took me under their care and gave me the incentive to really prepare for college, and of course my school administrators were always there, by my side encouraging me to be the best I can be and to give me the “balance” that I needed to succeed.
Kapa`a High School has produced so many great leaders at all levels and I am so proud of my fellow alumni. Mahalo Kapa`a High School for all that you have done for me. We will celebrate our 30th class reunion this year and I am looking forward to seeing my good friends once again.
Bernard P. Carvalho Jr. Class of 1979
Mayor, County of Kauai